Family Activities in Gore
Parents can’t help but have an easy time of it in Gore. Whatever the weather and whatever your budget, there are attractions that appeal to all ages! This rural town in Southland boasts impressive pieces of history across its aviation museum and pioneer village, while just spending some family fun in the great outdoors of Gore’s picturesque parks and surrounding bushwalks is good enough for many. Plan your family visit to Gore with this list of things to do in Gore with kids!
For more trip-planning advice, check out The Guide to Gore for Families and the 9 Best Family Accommodation in Gore.
1. Do a Bushwalk, Look for Glowworms, Camp and/or Play at the Playground of Dolamore Park
An excellent place for camping to see glowworms at night, Dolamore Park, just outside of Gore, gives you easy access to some family-friendly walking trails in the Croydon Bush Scenic Reserve, as well as an awesome children’s playground that the kids will love you for. Wander through the native bush on the 30-minute Dolamore Track and check out the native trees and exotic tree comparison at the park’s two arboretums! There’s plenty of space for kids to roam, making this a must-do with the little ones. Learn more about the walks in the 6 Best Walks in Gore.
Location: Dolamore Park Road, Gore, approximately 12km (7 miles) from Gore town centre.
2. Have a Picnic or Meet the Deer at Gore Public Gardens and Bannerman Park
For something in the town centre, check out Gore’s amazing gardens. The Gore Public Gardens is the town’s original garden with pretty flowers, winter gardens and an aviary that offers something to see all year round. Bannerman Park at the northern end of town is a beautiful place for a picnic under the shade of the trees or simply for a stroll among various flower gardens. Kids love going to see the deer at Bannerman Park too!
Location: Gore Public Gardens – Fairfield Street and Ardwick Street. Bannerman Park – Mitre Street and Crewe Street, Gore town centre.
3. See Awesome Planes at the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre
What kid isn’t impressed by seeing aircraft up-close?! The huge hanger of the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre houses an array of aeroplanes from the 1920s and 30s, beautifully restored and preserved. From colourful bi-planes to awesome jet planes there’s plenty to see at this affordable attraction where kids get in free! See more activities like this in the 10 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day.
Location: 1558 Waimea Highway, Mandeville, approximately 17km (11 miles) from Gore town centre.
4. Go Ice Skating at the Gore Multisports Complex
If you find yourself in Gore on a rainy day but still want to do something active, head to the Gore Multisports Complex. Not only does the sports complex house a 25m (80ft) swimming pool and four sports courts but it also has a pretty “cool” ice rink. The ice rink is extremely popular with kids. Public ice skating sessions are held on weekends and children’s skating sessions on the weeknights. Even the little ones can join in with cute penguin skate aids to hire!
Location: Robertson Street, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Gore town centre.
5. Feed the Ducks at Hokonui Pioneer Village
Don’t miss Hokonui Pioneer Village where it will feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you wander the historic buildings of this outdoor museum. Open on weekends, this historical attraction features a church with a lychgate, an old bank, an old cottage, a school and a blacksmith. You can also explore a museum of vintage tractors and cars and agricultural implements. Admittedly, what kids seem to love the most is feeding the ducks at the duck pond! At around NZ$5 per adult and NZ$1 per child, it’s a place you can afford to check out! See more like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Gore.
Location: 67 Waimea Street, North Gore, approximately 2km (1 mile) from Gore town centre.
6. Visit the Gore Museum and Hokonui Moonshine Museum
You can always rely on a good museum to fend off the boredom and Gore has two museums in one at the Gore Historical Museum and Hokonui Moonshine Museum. The Gore Historical Museum is free and features displays on the early pioneers and Maori settlers in the area. In the same building, the Hokonui Moonshine Museum is a quirky attraction showcasing the history of illicit whisky-making in Gore and the Hokonui Hills with static scenes, audio and visual displays and a chance to try some moonshine (for mum and dad; not the kids, of course). This museum has a small entrance fee but kids go free.
Location: 16 Hokonui Drive, Gore town centre.
7. Watch a Movie at the SBS St James Theatre
Finally, if all else fails, you can always go to the cinema. SBS St James Theatre is the heart of Gore’s arts and entertainment, featuring a 450-seat theatre for live shows and movie screening, as well as a 100-seat cinema. The charming cinema experience is something between a boutique cinema and a mainstream cinema, where there’s an old movie projector in the foyer and tasty treats and fresh popcorn to purchase. Watch family-friendly releases, theatre productions and events like the NZ Country Music Awards in May.
Location: 61 Irk Street, Gore town centre.